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Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll: "All the Young Dudes"

Wednesday, March 26: 2:07 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Released in September 1972, 'All the Young Dudes' marked a turning point for Mott the Hoople.

As glam rock hit its platformed stride in early 1972, Mott The Hoople was fading fast.

Born in mid-1969 as the brainchild of Island Records' mad genius Guy Stevens, the band was now deep in debt after four albums. Despite local notoriety helped by a riot-causing performance at London's Albert Hall (resulting in a "permanent" ban on rock and roll at the venerable venue), they had stiffed stateside and had just been dropped by their American label.

As Mott half-heartedly entered the studio that February to record demos for their next venture, a package awaited; in it, a tape and a note reading: "A song for you to hear. Hope you'll ring me and tell me what you think. David Bowie." The tape featured a demo of "Suffragette City," the song that would soon climax Bowie's "Ziggy Stardust" breakthrough. After Mott turned down the tune, they set out on a miserable tour of Switzerland and officially broke up on March 26, 1972 (a series of events that would be later chronicled on "The Ballad of Mott the Hoople (26th March 1972, Zürich)" off of 1973's Mott).

Back in London, bassist Pete "Overend" Watts called Bowie ...


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